KANAZAWA, ISHIKAWA PREF. – Ryosuke Hirata broke a 1-1 tie with a sixth-inning RBI double as the Chunichi Dragons prevented Hiroki Kuroda from recording his 200th career victory in top-flight pro ball with a 4-1 win over the Hiroshima Carp in the Central League on Wednesday.
“We didn’t want to be the ones he beat for his 200th win, so to Mr. Kuroda I want to say, ‘Please get it next week,’ ” Hirata said after the Dragons home game in Ishikawa Prefecture.
Raul Valdes (3-2) allowed seven hits and four walks, but just one run over seven innings to earn the win. The right-hander struck out two. Daisuke Yamai and Shinji Tajima each worked a scoreless inning against the high-powered Carp offense, with Tajima earning his sixth save.
Kuroda (6-4) did not issue a walk, but did give up seven hits, while striking out two. The 41-year-old, who has 120 wins in Nippon Professional Baseball and 79 in the majors, was pulled for a pinch hitter after throwing 91 pitches.
“The bottom line is that when I left pitches up in the zone, they put good swings on them,” Kuroda said. “Those two runs in the sixth hurt.”
Until Kuroda reaches the milestone, Hideo Nomo remains the only Japanese pitcher to work in the majors and reach 200 wins.
“As a ballplayer, I’m not catching up with Mr. Nomo, but I might feel so if I look only at that number,” he said. “To have come even a little closer to a great pitcher, it makes me happy to have played baseball.”
The Dragons took a 1-0 lead in the second, when Ricardo Nanita doubled with one out and later scored from third on a passed ball. Hiroshima, which loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth but failed to score, tied it in the sixth. Ryosuke Kikuchi doubled and scored after singles by Yoshihiro Maru and former Dragon Hector Luna.
But the run was just a temporary reprieve for Kuroda, who allowed a leadoff infield single to Kyohei Kamezawa. Hirata doubled on a high 1-1 slider to put the Dragons in front and Dayan Viciedo followed with a single to make it a two-run game.
Viciedo went deep for the 18th time this season to close out the scoring in the eighth.
Giants 3, Tigers 1
At Tokyo Dome, Kazuto Taguchi (4-6) allowed a run while striking out eight in 6⅓ innings to beat Hanshin. Shuichi Murata hit a game-tying solo home run in the fifth inning and Shinnosuke Abe put Yomiuri in front with a two-run, sixth-inning single.
BayStars 8, Swallows 7
At Yokohama Stadium, Elian Herrera’s first home run in Japan was a grand slam that gave the BayStars the lead in the bottom of the eighth. Closer Yasuaki Yamasaki allowed two runs before shutting the door for good in the ninth for his 24th save of the season.
Marines 5, Lions 4
At Chiba’s QVC Marine Field, Tadashi Ogino sparked a three-run rally with a one-out double off Seibu starter Felipe Paulino. Shohei Kato singled in the tying run with two outs and scored the go-ahead run on Kei Hosoya’s triple.
Hawks 5, Buffaloes 2
Fighters at Eagles — ppd.